As I mentioned in my recent post about Strasbourg, France, my daughter Camille and I had the opportunity to visit three UNESCO World Heritage Sites on our recent Rhine River Cruise. The second was the Upper Middle Rhine Valley.
In a 40-mile stretch of the valley, you’ll find 60 small towns and 40 castles. Along the steep hillsides, you’ll find terraces of vineyards that have been there for 1000 years.
You can probably understand why we were excited to see this. I had envisioned us on the top deck of our ship, with our fellow river cruisers, enjoying the views on a sunny afternoon.
Well, unfortunately, sometimes Mother Nature has ideas of her own. The water level in the Rhine was really low and rain was needed badly, and Mother Nature provided.
So, my photos weren’t what I had envisioned, but Camille was a trooper and we made the most of it.
We started passing castles while we were still inside the dining room eating lunch. This is the Ehrenfels Castle Ruins.
After lunch, we went up to the top deck. (Under the circumstances, it’s hard to call it the “sun” deck.) It wasn’t long before Camille went back to our stateroom to grab some blankets.
In addition to all the castles and towns, we also saw the famous Lorelei rock, which you may have heard of in folklore and popular culture.
Most of the people on our ship decided to view the sights from inside the lounge, but we bonded with the few who were willing to brave the wind and rain. It isn’t very often that you get to see so many castles! This is Katz Castle.
As we passed Rheinfels Castle, a waiter surprised us with hot coffee drinks that were much appreciated.
The sky is just so dreary looking, but we got a nice view of Maus Castle. All the while, our Cruise Manager was announcing information and stories about the castles, but it just wasn’t possible for me to take notes.
There were also lots and lots of vineyards that we passed. The fall colors were so pretty.
The only good thing about the gray sky was that it really made the fall colors pop.
I just have to post another vineyard picture because they were so stunning to look at. This is a great cruise for wine lovers.
At this point, we decided to relocate to our stateroom balcony to view the last few castles. The Marksburg castle was built in 1117 and definitely looks like one out of a fairy tale.
As we approached the town of Lahnstein, we had a great view of the Stolzenfels Castle across the river.
At that point, it was time to eat dinner, and then we had a real treat–a castle tour. Because of the time of year, it got dark quite early so our castle tour was by candlelight! (And they also gave us flashlights so we could see where we were walking.) Here is Lahneck Castle.
It was so interesting to see the kitchen and imagine how meals were prepared.
The kitchen had a well. Have you ever wanted to look inside a well to see if you could see the bottom? I was very careful to hold on tightly to my phone while taking this picture!
The castle furnishings were very interesting.
Despite the weather, we still enjoyed our castle day immensely.
Is the Rhine River Valley on your list of must-visit destinations? Whether by river cruise or a land vacation, I would love to help you plan a trip. Read about how my services work here.